February 23, 2012

CARDIN, MIKULSKI DECRY POSSIBLE NEW USPS STUDY TO CLOSE EASTON PROCESSING FACILITY AND MOVE FUNCTIONS TO DELAWARE

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today urged the United States Postal Service to put a halt to any study involving the closure of the postal distribution center in Easton, MD and moving the processing of mail to a postal facility near Wilmington, DE.

In a letter to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahue, the Senators strongly complained that the call for a new study lacks transparency and totally disregards public input.   In their letter to the Postmaster General, they pointed out that such a move is unlikely to result in cost savings and that it would significantly delay the delivery of mail to the more than 500,000 residents living on the Eastern Shore.  The Senators said they would oppose any relaxation of delivery standards that would result in moving the processing center from Easton to Delaware.

Text of the letter follows:

February 23, 2012

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

We write to express our significant concern and extreme dismay about an announcement made to the Easton postal employees that the U.S. Postal Service is considering instituting a new study to transfer mail processing and distribution services from the Easton area mail processing center to the Hares Corner mail processing center in Wilmington, Delaware.  

We are extremely frustrated with the total disregard for a transparent and public process, the lack of any justification or cost savings, and the concerns we have expressed on behalf of our constituents about delays in mail service. Now, due to what we feel is undue political influence, a last minute decision has been made to request another study that would not only close a facility that must remain open, but also potentially recommend moving those functions and jobs to Delaware.

While we are mindful of the fiscal challenges facing the Postal Service, as members of Congress, we have every right to know the basis for important decisions like this one, which have the potential to significantly burden the lives and livelihood of the half a million residents on the Eastern Shore.   These residents include farmers, small businesses and a significant rural and elderly population that relies heavily on mail delivery for life saving medications, daily newspapers, important business documents and even shipments of live animals.

We are strongly opposed to any consideration of transferring mail processing and distribution from the Easton area mail processing center to Delaware.   There is absolutely no statistical or empirical data to justify consideration of this idea.  The Easton area mail processing center is the only mail processing center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and its ongoing operation is critically important to the residents, small businesses, and a significant rural and elderly population that relies on the mail service.   Relaxing delivery standards by moving mail processing from Easton to Delaware is simply not a practical or sustainable option.  We ask you to reconsider studying this option.

We expect your direct reply to our concerns no later than March 1, 2012.  

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin